The introduction of bond notes by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe this week gave us plenty to talk about.

They have been long in coming. The bond note issue had elicited all manner of feeling and emotion, from quiet optimism to feverish anxiety and fear.

One must admit, the negative almost always won the argument, cast a pall over prospects for the new monetary measure.

And is it not a happy day that the bond notes were introduced and Zimbabwe suffered no apocalypse!

But one needs to interrogate the polarized reception of bond notes.

There are two ways.

One: the historical.

People have unpleasant memories of the Zimdollar which plunged at billion hyperinflationary percentage points, sweeping records along the shameful way.

Many people lost their life’s savings during that hyperinflationary era and mention of Zimdollar or local currency is bound to stir memories of this nightmare of black horror.

That is understandable, if not normal.


People in this genus — and they are many — want the assurance that the introduction of any form of local currency is not bound to be a sure way back to hell.

They do not want another experiment, after the salvation, nay fillip, of the US dollar, that will haunt them and render their savings useless. Some are willing to give the local currency, and the face of the new measures — one Panonetsa John Mangudya — a chance.

They believe in the inherent goodwill of Government and are generally clear as to the complexities that the country’s economy, as relating closely to its politics, has been facing.

A new start could be possible.

Mangudya could not have been careless or foolish. He should have done his homework — and corrections on the work of his predecessor, a man called Gideon Gono.

He may have taken countless history lessons.

So Mangundya, it was reasoned, should be given a chance.

Within the same historical bracket lie people who are dialectically opposed to the optimists.

They do not want to hear or see anything resembling the defunct Zim dollar – their pain was too much.

Their wounds are still weeping fresh.

Their sentiment is shaped more by what they saw during that heady era marking the hyper-inflationary end of the dear old Zimdollar.

They think that the time is not right nor are conditions.

They believe that Zimbabwe must continue using the US dollar, despite its limitations, if not challenges.

Their underlining belief seems to be that, one fine morning, a message will come from God in Heaven that now is the time for the return of the Zimbabwe dollar and we shall have our currency again.

For happily ever after.

These are all genuine economic arguments.

Politics of the bond note

On the other hand, politics has been responsible for the polarization in viewing the bond note issue.

Hence, and expectedly, many of those who support the ruling party and Government have been willing to give the bond note experiment a chance.

Sometimes way too easily, forgetting the pains of the past.

Or hiding the head in the sand.

On the other hand, those in the opposition have been largely seen to oppose the bond note on two bases.

The first is that they do not believe that the ruling party has the capacity to pass where it failed.

They do not trust the Government and its arms such as the RBZ which oversaw an economic downturn and the shelving of the local currency.

This is all good and expected of an opposition standpoint.

It is even patriotic, and the patriotic duty of the opposition to question.

The flip side of this is however despicable.

There are some elements that have prayed hard, preached hard and worked hard for the bond note to fail.

They also do not want any measures taken by the Government to succeed for the simple reason that it will render them irrelevant.

This is where much of the noise has been coming from and the alarmist fears of an impending apocalypse.

This negative brigade has been trying to poison the national sentiment for irrational and parochial political end.

No sense or scientific fact would wash with them.

Their life depends on it.

Bereft of any alternatives or meaningful programme of action, the opposition — led by the MDC-T — just wish to see zanu-pf fail and fall.

Even at the cost of livelihoods.

This is why the party called for sanctions on Zimbabwe to cause a humanitarian catastrophe so that it could walk on dead bodies to State House.

They want people to die of hunger and cholera so that they appear as angels sent from God.

Anything that uplifts or alleviates the suffering of people is anathema to them.

Their fear is to become redundant in the quest for power.

This is sick.

Really sick — the opposition in this country is a bunch of vile serpents that want evil to triumph, all via the mass suffering of people.

Media surrogates

It is a fact of history that the opposition enjoys a long and dirty incestuous relationship with the so-called private media with whom it enjoys mutual patronage of hostile foreign interests.

What the opposition thinks, the so-called private media voices.

So all the negativity that the bond notes and other well-meaning government initiatives have met have been given legs by the private media mouthpieces of the opposition.

The private media, at least on the main, always sides with the opposition masters.

They should please and be seen to be singing from the same page with their masters.

We do not want to lecture the reader on the political economy of newspapers.

The stories tell themselves.

We must admit there have been days when we have seen some astounding cognitive dissonance where some bosses want to sing a familiar negative tune while at the lower ranks at the editorial levels people appeared to think otherwise.

We noted a couple of editorials reflecting this cognitive dissonance.

All hope is not lost, maybe.

But we draw your attention to the headline of the latest Zimbabwe Independent.

“British bank rescues Mugabe,” proclaimed the paper.

“BRITISH multinational banking and financial services group Standard Chartered Bank Plc — previously embroiled in controversial sanctions investigations in the United States and freezing of capital investment in Zimbabwe — has unexpectedly agreed to shell out US$262 million to bail out President Robert Mugabe’s bankrupt regime…”

You get the drift: The Independent would rather Zimbabwe burns because of their hatred of President Mugabe.

That is what their masters would want.

That Zimbabwe crashes and burns as long as their political preferences – even when they have shown to be ineffectual – are not in power.

It’s pathetic, really.

This is not about Mugabe, someone please tell the Independent and other negative heads, it’s about our country!

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